Raw Reaction 08/26/14: The John Cena Redemption Project

NikkiBrie

Raw was going up against the Emmy Awards so they stacked the opening segment with Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. It sounds good in theory but in reality, watching three guys debate about John Cena and his future was pretty boring and awful. It was the start of a night of many questionable segments in terms of entertainment value.

Segments:

The man they were talking about, John Cena, would break up the boring debate. He puts over all the legends saying how he respects them all. Talks about competing against Michaels, good times he had in and out of the ring with Flair and that without Hogan there would be no John Cena. He went on to say a loss like the one he took at Summerslam could change a man. Not enough to turn heel mind you as he was quoted as saying earlier in the week. He closed by saying regardless of what they all think he was not just going to beat Brock Lesnar he was going to beat his ass. This segment gave me zero motivation to see this re-match or not watch the Emmy Awards if I was so inclined. The four times it was replayed throughout the night did not make it come off any better.

Later in the night, we would have a pre-taped interview with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman that would do a 100 percent better job at selling this match. Heyman said that Cena invoking his re-match clause insulted his client. That he being a fan of Cena felt that this was a huge error on Cena’s behalf. Lesnar meanwhile says he hit the F-5 to give Cena the chance to stay down. He did not and kept getting up because of to quote Brock Lesnar, “that never give up B.S.” He went on to wonder if Cena’s father filled his heads with delusions of what it took to be a man. He concluded by saying that he was going to take Cena out and this is the last time he would be seen in this universe. Promising to end Cena’s career is a motivation to see this match again something Cena failed to provide in the opening segment.

Jerry Lawler has been upset by the break-up of the Bella Twins as we are led to believe. He is going to have both women in the ring and is billing this as a family reconciliation. This segment seemed destined to be a train wreck waiting to happen. I seem to be in the minority as I loved it.

Nikki came out first to join Jerry in the ring and immediately moved her chair further from the chair that Brie was going to be sitting in. Brie comes out and before she can say anything, Nikki points out she can’t even get her own theme music. Brie responds with that she can have it if she wants it. I’m not sure what Brie said other than a line about an ultrasound in which their mother had of the two holding hands in the womb. Nikki responded and said she hates her sister and she is so phony and only cares about herself. She quit and left Nikki to suffer while she was more concerned about trending on Twitter. She goes on to say how she hates the fans especially the male ones that have these fantasies about twins but are all too fat and ugly to even consider such things. She hates Brie’s troll faced husband Daniel Bryan as well. Nikki says this goes back to them growing up when Brie would steal her boyfriends, would get in trouble, blame Nikki and other various things. She concluded by saying that photo of the two in the womb was just Brie holding Nikki back like she always has. She hates her and as far as she is concerned, she no longer has a sister and wished that Brie died in the womb. Lawler tries to play referee and is told by Nikki to shut up. Nikki attacks Brie knocking her out of the chair and going nuts on her. Lawler attempts to break-up this Bella brawl earning him a slap in the face from Nikki. They missed it on camera, but were able to show it in the replay after the segment. Nikki would got back after Nikki and attack her with a microphone smashing it into her head. Four referees and Lawler were finally able to break this up and Nikki left up the isle screaming that she had no sister.

The Emmy for best segment ever by a Bella in WWE goes to Nikki. This was tremendous in my view. There was no in between on the segment as you either loved it or thought it was some horrible television.

Speaking of horrible television, we have a segment with Kane and Seth Rollins having a funeral for Dean Ambrose. This segment was painful and did not do much for me in terms of Rollins’ ability to care a segment like this. The highlight of the segment might have been the giant photo of Ambrose. It would be broken up by the appearance of Roman Reigns. This would lead to a handicap match being set-up by Kane. They would look to do the same thing to Reigns that happened to Ambrose a week earlier, but were unsuccessful in doing so. Reigns would avoid being stomped through the cinder blocks of cement as he would take out Kane. As Rollins tried to make an exit, Reigns picked up a cinder block and threw it at Rollins who ducked and it hit the ring post. This seemed a dangerous stunt to do as cement chips flew everywhere apiece even hit Lawler. King would be ok and survived to be part of that classic Bella segment thankfully.

Matches:

We had a tag-team title match that no one promoted prior to Raw because why promote silly things like matches, right? In any case, the champs The Usos, who have been under used since a great match at Battleground, defended the titles against Goldust and Stardust. A fresh match-up is always a good thing in the WWE these days. Jimmy would end up hurting his knee on the outside and The Usos would be counted out. Goldust would protest stating that this was a once in a lifetime chance to have a shot at the champions and demanded the match be re-started. Usos claimed that Jimmy was hurt and seemed confused at the reaction of Goldust. Goldust and Stardust would attack The Usos and make one of the most of the blue heel turns in WWE history. Good for Dustin and Cody I guess as it looks like they are going to have a new direction to go with this bizarre tag-team.

Dolph Ziggler faced the Miz’s stunt double Damien Sandow. I have attempted to defend the actions of how they use Sandow as not a bad thing but this is the bottom of barrel for me as a prop in the Ziggler and Miz feud for the Intercontinental Title. The Miz was on commentary and if you have been into this new “Hollywood” gimmick, you got more of that. Ziggler got the win and Sandow was fired from being the Miz’s stunt double.

We had Cesaro and RVD with a re-match from their pre-show bout at Summerslam. In any case being on the pre-show of Summerslam was better than the U.S Champion who did not appear on the show. Yet these men are battling to be number one contender for that title. Sorry, I think I was being logically there for a moment what was I thinking. Cesaro avenges his loss to RVD and looks to be heading for a program with Sheamus who is the U.S Champion in case you forgot.

Paige fought Natalya again but this match was just the backdrop for my hi-jinx in the on going feud between A.J and Paige. Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil fought Los Matadors in a match that lasted longer than most on the card for whatever reason. Swagger faced Rusev and after the loss, Bo Dallas would remind Jack Swagger he let down America. Later in the night, Bo fought Kofi who has abandoned his new heel gimmick. Bo got the win and while he was cutting, an in-ring promo was cut short by an attack from behind by Jack Swagger. The fans booed the attacking of Bo Dallas.

The main event of the show started as a one-on-one with Bray Wyatt and John Cena. It was John Cena doing to Bray what Brock did to him until Rowan and Harper hit the ring. Big Show and Mark Henry came from the back to help Cena and we had a six-man tag team match. It was the WWE’s attempt to rebuild Cena but did it at the expense of Wyatt. When you contrast this main event with the Rollins against Ambrose to this one  it makes you appreciate the Rollins and Ambrose match more.

This show was overall a terrible train wreck and it always amazes me when the WWE gets fearful of the chance of getting a lower rating how they respond. They try to over compensate and end up putting on a terrible show by trying to hard over booking the show. Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair added nothing to this show.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 10 Emmy worthy moments

The Brock Lesnar promo and Nikki Bella are the two things that I personally will take away from this show. The rest of it was forgettable and a waste of time in many ways. If this is the WWE picking up their game for trying to hold ratings, I would suggest they do not try to do that in the future for the sake of your audience.

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